Monday, December 25, 2017
Christmas and a Vampire - Part 25
She blinked in response and he disappeared in a puff of acrid purple smoke. Glaive laughed, pulling her closer.
"You see?" he yelled to his people. "You see what a coward he is? He leaves his precious wench here for us to play with. What do you say, wench?"
Rafaela grabbed his groin with one strong hand, nearly bringing him to his knees. Howling with pain, he dropped the knife he'd had at her throat, losing his hold on her.
"Three, two, one," she counted. Releasing him suddenly, she dove under a stone fountain.
Light blazed. Vampires screamed. Skin burning, eyes ash, they staggered around the room, grappling and clawing at one another. Glaive's clothing burned, as did that of the vampires nearest him. Seth swooped down from the second story balcony, landing on Glaive. His dagger went into the vampire's throat, severing the head from the body. He kicked the head aside. In full battle fury, he faced the smoldering vampires. With a blood curdling war cry, he sliced into the nearest vampire. Another head went rolling across the room.
Picking herself up, Rafaela jumped into action. Grabbing her fallen blade, she joined Seth in the unending blood bath. They heard sounds of fighting outside and knew that the family had joined them. Once Glaive died, his wards were no longer viable. They could come in freely.
The battle was brutal, ugly and seemed to drag on forever. More than once, Rafaela spotted little Emiline swinging her pint sized sword, double teaming the vampires with her mentor. She saw much of herself in the tiny, dark haired girl.
Shrieking like a banshee, she severed two heads in one swing. They rolled and bounced on the floor, tumbling away with twin thuds. Silence followed. No more vampires lurked in the shadows. The sun was coming up, peeping cautiously over the horizon as they regrouped. Setting out to count their dead, surprised to find out that the humans and Hunters hadn't lost a soul.
The slaves and their human keepers had disappeared. The house stood empty, except for the dead vampires. The Hunters gathered the heads and piled up the lifeless bodies in the ballroom. Emiline helped Rafaela douse the bodies with her special blend and the little girl was given the honor of lighting the match. They watched the house catch fire and burn as the sun rose.
Some of the humans stuck around to keep an eye on the fire. The Hunters and other family members went back to the swamp, tired but triumphant. When they were offered a huge, claw footed tub to bathe in, Rafaela and Dirk exchanged a look.
"There's a yes," Emiline's mother said with a grin. "We'll let you be for now. Come up to the big house when you're done."
They hadn't noticed the day before, but there was a huge house on stilts sitting over the water. It seemed to be home to an extended family. Other members of the clan lived in the woods around the swamp. The cabin where Dirk and Rafaela were staying was a guest cabin. Seth followed the family to the big house, surrounded by the young women, all of them making a fuss over him. He was the hero of the day for killing Glaive.
Once the others were gone, Rafaela and Dirk stripped and examined one another for wounds. Finding none, they went to the bathroom. The tub was all they'd hoped and more. Big enough for four people, it stood on a pedestal in the middle of the bathroom. The rear wall was live rock, covered in moss and other plants. The floor was flagstone with a drain in the middle. A commode sat in one corner in its own little room. A shower graced the stone wall, the water came from an artificial waterfall. The tub was inviting. Rafaela had always loved baths, but the shower held appeal too.
"Let's get clean in the shower and have fun in the tub," Dirk suggested.
"Works for me."
After a short shower, they filled the tub. Dirk sniffed all the bubble bath at Rafaela's insistence, before they added it to the water. When it was full enough, she stepped gingerly in. Dirk stood behind her, steadying her as she lifted her second leg over the side. His hands caressed her shapely ass as he followed her. Before they'd even properly settled in the tub, he pulled her to him, entering her without ceremony. His need for her was primal, urgent. He couldn't control himself, taking her hard and fast. They came together mere minutes later.
"We lived," he gasped as he came. "We lived!"
Rafaela laughed, cradling his head between her breasts. "We lived," she whispered, holding him close as he kissed her breasts.
"I love you so much," he whispered. "Why couldn't we have been anyone else?"
"I ask myself that every day. I love you, too, Dirk. It's the irony of our existence."
"It's the twisted hand of fate," he murmured, resting his head against her. "I couldn't do it, Rafe. I thought I could, but I couldn't kill my own brother."
She kissed him deeply, knowing his pain. She'd had to kill half her family, the ones he'd turned. It was her job to hunt down rogue vampires, and her family had been some of the worst. That didn't make it any less emotional for her.
"Killing my mother was the worst thing I ever had to do," she replied, stroking his hair. "But it's my job. I am a Hunter. You're not."
"I kept seeing him as a child. Glaive was so bright and curious, the sweetest little boy in the world. How did he become—that?"
© Dellani Oakes 2017
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